More stranger danger

Yesterday I did a radio interview with a station in Newfoundland in Canada. Before my segment, I listened to a report of how local police had street-proofed a city there. You heard a voice repeatedly saying “Never do this” and “Don’t do that.”I felt afraid just listening on the phone from the other side of the ocean.Then you heard children talking about how they would run a mile from any strange adult. It was chilling, and depressing. Is that really the message we want to send to our kids? That every grown-up is a potential abuser? That you can’t trust anyone unless you know them personally and they have been formally approved by your parents? What kind of society does that create? And how will children ever learn how to distinguish the very tiny minority who are a threat from the rest of us? Anyway, it made me think again how timely is the Safer Stranger campaign just launched in Britain (see blog post May 7).